Wellington, FL - Mikala Gundersen (DEN) and My Lady added another win at Week 7 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), this time taking home the prize in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 4*, presented by The Dutta Corporation. Gundersen and My Lady performed a nearly flawless test receiving a 75.625%, followed by Karen Pavicic (CAN) and Don Daiquiri in second with a 72.250% and Kasey Perry (USA) aboard Trostruplunds Scarlet in third with a score of 72.025%. The crowd braved the unseasonably cold temperatures to watch the spectacular evening of competition. Carla Jablonski of the Florida Grand Opera along with pianist Andrew Hamilton from the Frost School of Music performed the national anthem. The weather was crisp, but the wind has significantly decreased compared to yesterday making it more of a pleasant atmosphere for both horses and riders. "I had a very fresh horse tonight, but very focused in the warm-up. It was the best warm-ups I've had so far here overall. She can be a bit difficult in, and it didn't feel like that tonight," said Gundersen.
"I think she was really good in the ring. She was still a little tense from yesterday in the big atmosphere, but she was able to do a lot of the movements really well. I felt some of my highlights would be the changes and the passage work, for sure."
CLICK HERE to watch Mikala and My Lady in their winning performance. (Video courtesy of Campfield Videos)
The pair, who has had a string of very consistent performances at AGDF this season, continue to strengthen the accuracy of their tests. "There were still a few bobbles, and those are things I need to work on removing so that we don't lose points," she commented.
With the win in the CDI 4* Grand Prix Freestyle, Gundersen was awarded the Adequan® High Score Award for the Grand Prix Freestyle and Janne Rumbough, owner of My Lady, was presented with the "Best Horse Owner Award for the Grand Prix Freestyle" sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty. Rumbough and Gundersen decided together that they would donate the $5,000 owner's prize to the Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, a local therapeutic riding school located in Loxahatchee, FL.
Pavicic and Don Daiquiri removed errors that hindered their Grand Prix test from the day prior and put in a lovely ride that ultimately placed them second in the class. "I was really happy with Don Daiquiri tonight. I had a few small mistakes in our Grand Prix test yesterday, specifically in our one-tempis, and tonight we didn't miss a single one," she stated. "Our canter pirouettes weren't as strong as they usually are, but I'm very happy overall with the test."
"Dono" and Pavicic have built a very strong partnership over the years, and it is clear through their results at international competition around the world. "We're getting better and better and now we have our eyes set on the World Cup in April. He's come a really long way. It's all about the relationship you create, and that's what you need to succeed at the top levels of this sport."
Perry rounded out the top three with "Scarlet", one of her two rides in CDI competition this week. "I'm lucky to be sitting here. I have two wonderful horses, and I'm very blessed to be where I am," she smiled. "The past two weeks I've really bonded with Scarlet and my test tonight I just smiled through the whole thing. I was so happy with her performance and the way she's really working with the training and she just did great. I love my music, and it just made the experience so much better."
Tim Dutta, CEO of presenting sponsor for the Week 7 CDI 4*, The Dutta Corporation, congratulated both the CDI 3*/4* classes on their outstanding performances during the "Friday Night Stars" competition. "For us in the dressage community, to have a world-class show facility and a production that meets the same standards, between the quality of riders and the horses, it is a very rare opportunity to be a part of something like this," continued Dutta. "From European riders, top judges visiting us from around the world, the sport is getting real; the money is real as compared to anywhere else in the world. The first year when we did this we wanted AGDF to be a destination and now I have to say that it is THE destination for the dressage community."
Judge at C, Susanna Baarup Christensen (DEN), returned to AGDF for the second year in a row and expressed her excitement in the quality of horses and growth of the show in just a single year. She remarked, "It's fantastic to be here. There are so many high quality horses, which is exciting. It was a very strong class, and the riders were very close together. It was the small things that ended up making a difference."
Allyn Mann of Adequan®, title sponsor for the entire AGDF circuit, continues to see growth not only in terms of entry numbers, but in the overwhelming sense of community from participants at the show. "This is a wonderful family to be a part of, and it is an incredible thing to experience. I'm so glad that I have had that opportunity to be here and share these moments with everyone," he expressed.
Several separate awards were given throughout the night to competitors from both CDI and National competition. Carla Bahr and Cyrus were awarded the Best Horse Owner for Overall Highest Percentage at the National Show for their score of 78.18%. Kimberly Herslow was presented with the Winner of the Prix St. Georges Owner Award, for her ride aboard Rosmarin. Jill Irving (CAN), a dedicated rider and dressage enthusiast, presents both awards each week.
Final Results for FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI4*, presented by The Dutta Corporation
Place, Rider, Nationality, Horse, Horse Information: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total%
1. Mikala Gundersen (DEN), My Lady, 2000 Danish Warmblood mare owned by Janne Rumbough, Michellino x Marion x Ritterstern: 74.375%, 76.000%, 77.000%, 76.750%, 74.000%, 75.625%
2. Karen Pavicic (CAN), Don Daiquiri, 2002 Oldenburg gelding owned by Jayne Essig, Don Cardinale x Nedstatte III x Rubinstein I: 71.250%, 74.250%, 72.000%, 72.750%, 71.000%, 72.250%
3. Kasey Perry (USA), Trostuplunds Scarlet, 1999 Danish Warmblood mare owned by Diane Perry, Blue Hors Don Shufro x Ramona x Blue Hors Romancier: 71.625%, 71.500%, 71.750%, 75.500%, 69.750%, 72.025%
4. Christoph Koschel (GER), Rostropowitsch NRW, 2002 Westphalian gelding owned by Gabriela Koschel, Rockwell x Windcandela x Coriograf B: 71.875%, 72.625%, 71.750%, 71.875%, 69.500%, 71.525%
5. Juan Matute Jr. (ESP) Don Diego Ymas, 2003 Hanoverian gelding owned by Juan Matute, 2003 Hanoverian gelding, Don Frederico x Wie Plantine: 69.750%, 70.875%, 71.375%, 71.625%, 71.000%, 70.925%
6. Charlotte Jorst (USA), Kastels Nintendo, 2003 Dutch Warmblood stallion owned by Kastel Denmark, Negro x Rodieni R x Monaco: 69.750%, 71.750%, 70.125%, 70.875%, 68.250%, 70.150%
7. Jacqueline Brooks (CAN), D Niro, 1999 Swedish Warmblood owned by Brookhaven Dressage Inc., D day x Alitalia x Napolean 625: 68.125%, 71.250%, 65.875%, 68.625%, 68.250%, 68.425%
About the Adequan Global Dressage Festival:
The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) is one of the world's largest international and national dressage circuits featuring 7 FEI Dressage events, including a 5* and the only FEI Nations' Cup Series CDIO in the Western Hemisphere. The AGDF offers more than $650,000 in prize money for the seven international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world. The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world-class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area.